You can injure your neck at work, sitting hunched over a computer every day or while playing sports. Age-related degeneration is also a common cause of neck pain, a specialty of the Woodbury Spine team. At their practice in Woodbury, New Jersey, orthopaedic spine specialist Evan O'Brien, MD, and Chris Hennessey, PA, diagnose and treat neck problems, including cervical disc disease, radiculopathy, and myelopathy (spinal cord compression). For the effective resolution of your neck pain, call Woodbury Spine for an appointment.
It's common to overstretch the soft tissues in your neck or irritate the nerves by sleeping in an awkward position or having poor posture. Stress in your neck muscles can lead to stiffness and discomfort, and injuries like whiplash and muscle strains are a frequent cause of acute neck pain.
Conditions that provoke chronic neck pain include:
These conditions result in changes to the vertebrae and connective tissues that make up your spine. In many cases, these changes result in cervical radiculopathy – pressure on the nerves in your cervical spine (neck).
To diagnose the cause of your neck pain, Dr. O'Brien discusses your symptoms with you and looks over your medical history. Your lifestyle could also be relevant. If you take part in sports or work at a desk all day, this could be causing your neck pain or making it worse.
Dr. O'Brien then carries out a physical examination. He feels your neck carefully for any abnormalities and asks you to make specific movements to check for loss of function and pain.
You may need to undergo some tests, such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan. If Dr. O’Brien thinks there might be nerve problems, nerve conduction velocity and electromyogram (EMG) tests may also be necessary. Woodbury Spine has state-of-the-art digital X-rays on-site for your convenience.
Mild neck pain may respond to rest, hot and cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain-relieving medications. More severe neck pain or pain that doesn't improve after a few self-care days might require expert medical attention.
Dr. O'Brien prepares a personalized treatment plan based on his examination and your test results. Initial treatments are typically conservative and may include:
These treatments resolve most cases of neck pain, but some conditions require more urgent surgery. An operation might also be advisable, if no other approaches are relieving your neck pain.
Surgical options for neck pain mainly address problems with the intervertebral discs that cushion and stabilize your spine. Examples include artificial disc replacement (ADR) and anterior cervical disc fusion (ACDF).
If you need surgery, Dr. O'Brien uses state-of-the-art technology and the latest, proven methods to optimize outcomes and minimize pain. He also specializes in advanced solutions like the Mobi-C and M6 artificial discs.).
If neck pain is disrupting your life, call Woodbury Spine for an appointment today.